Flexi plumbing hoses are rubber pipes surrounded by braided lengths of stainless steels. They are used to connect water to taps and fixtures and are commonly found under the sinks in bathrooms, behind toilets, in laundries and under the kitchen sink. They reduce the stress on pipes by absorbing movement as the rubber inner tubes expand under pressure whilst the stainless steel braid prevents further expansion. They are very versatile, can be bent and shaped, quick to install and started replacing inflexible copper pipes in Australia about 25 years ago.
Most problems with flexi houses are caused when they are of low quality and thus more susceptible to corrosion or when they are past their shelf life (note: generally hoses should be replaced every 5-10 years). Sometimes damage occurs during an install by a non professional. The connector nuts can be installed either too tightly or too loosely, the hoses can be kinked or twisted incorrectly, the hoses can erode due to storing household chemicals nearby and hence the integrity of the hose is compromised. As a general rule always ensure that your flexi hoses display the watermark certification and are regularly checked for signs of aging, rusting, leaking, preferably by a professional plumber.
A burst pipe could lead to water flooding a property at the rate of 1,500 litres an hour and can release enough water to fill a swimming pool within 24 hours. This quantity of water can lead to ceilings collapsing, ruined contents and uninhabitable homes for owners, tenants as well as neighbours.
7 Tips To Minimise Issues With Flexi Hoses:
- Check for rust or leaks on all hoses regularly (everytime you receive a water bill)
- Ensure there are isolation taps on every flexi hose so that you can isolate any leaks.
- Replace hoses every 5-10 years with ones that have a reasonable warranty.
- Ensure hoses are watermarked and approved for use in Australia.
- Ensure flexi hoses are installed by a professional plumber.
- Do not store household chemicals around flexi hoses.
- Ensure closed cupboards under sinks have ventilation to avoid condensation on hoses.